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Harvard Medical School
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General Medical Questions
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Question : I have type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar is still high despite my attempts at eating better and losing weight. Do I need insulin or is there something I can take by mouth?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Mary Pickett, M.D. is an Associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University where she is a primary care doctor for adults. She supervises and educates residents in the field of Internal Medicine, for outpatient and hospital care. She is a Lecturer for Harvard Medical School and a Senior Medical Editor for Harvard Health Publications.

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January 16, 2014
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There are very effective medicines that you can take by mouth to treat type 2 diabetes.

The first choice of medicine is usually metformin (Glucophage, generic versions). This medicine makes your body more sensitive to the insulin that your pancreas is already producing.

Most people with diabetes eventually need a combination of medications. There are other drugs that can be taken by mouth, and combined with metformin, to control blood sugar.

Roughly 1 out of 3 adults with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin injections to become a part of their long-term treatment plan.

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